The insurance industry continues to be a hotbed of patent innovation. Activity is driven by digitalization, personalization, and growing importance of technologies such as artificial intelligence (AI), Internet of Things, and cybersecurity in insurance documentation and data analytics, predictive risk assessment, fraud detection, and smart policy management. In the last three years alone, there have been over 17,000 patents filed and granted in the insurance industry, according to GlobalData’s report on Artificial intelligence in insurance: automated weather forecasting. Buy the report here.

However, not all innovations are equal and nor do they follow a constant upward trend. Instead, their evolution takes the form of an S-shaped curve that reflects their typical lifecycle from early emergence to accelerating adoption, before finally stabilizing and reaching maturity.

Identifying where a particular innovation is on this journey, especially those that are in the emerging and accelerating stages, is essential for understanding their current level of adoption and the likely future trajectory and impact they will have.

20+ innovations will shape the insurance industry

According to GlobalData’s Technology Foresights, which plots the S-curve for the insurance industry using innovation intensity models built on over 70,000 patents, there are 20+ innovation areas that will shape the future of the industry.

Within the emerging innovation stage, underwriting AI, predictive risk analysis, and insurance documentation AI are disruptive technologies that are in the early stages of application and should be tracked closely. Insurance fraud detection AI, smart policy management, and smart vehicle damage assessment are some of the accelerating innovation areas, where adoption has been steadily increasing. Among maturing innovation areas is automated weather forecasting, which is now well established in the industry.

Innovation S-curve for artificial intelligence in the insurance industry

Automated weather forecasting is a key innovation area in artificial intelligence

Automated weather forecasting involves the automatic measuring and recording of atmospheric conditions to predict the state of the atmosphere for a given location based on different weather parameters such as temperature, wind speed, wind direction, precipitation, humidity, and atmospheric pressure. This technology is used in the insurance sector to assess risks and provide appropriate insurance policy options to customers. The use of AI technologies such as machine learning can make weather predictions more precise, accurate and applicable for the insurance industry.

GlobalData’s analysis also uncovers the companies at the forefront of each innovation area and assesses the potential reach and impact of their patenting activity across different applications and geographies. According to GlobalData, there are 20+ companies, spanning technology vendors, established insurance companies, and up-and-coming start-ups engaged in the development and application of automated weather forecasting.

Key players in automated weather forecasting – a disruptive innovation in the insurance industry

‘Application diversity’ measures the number of applications identified for each patent. It broadly splits companies into either ‘niche’ or ‘diversified’ innovators.  

‘Geographic reach’ refers to the number of countries each patent is registered in. It reflects the breadth of geographic application intended, ranging from ‘global’ to ‘local’. 

Patent volumes related to automated weather forecasting

Company Total patents (2010 - 2022) Premium intelligence on the world's largest companies
State Farm Mutual Automobile Insurance 214 Unlock Company Profile
Cox Enterprises 124 Unlock Company Profile
FedEx 87 Unlock Company Profile
The Allstate 32 Unlock Company Profile
Leonard Green & Partners 11 Unlock Company Profile
Ford Motor 10 Unlock Company Profile
The Travelers 9 Unlock Company Profile
The Hartford Financial Services Group 8 Unlock Company Profile
Panasonic 7 Unlock Company Profile
International Business Machines 5 Unlock Company Profile
National Presto Industries 5 Unlock Company Profile
FloodFlash 5 Unlock Company Profile
Koninklijke Philips 4 Unlock Company Profile
Swiss Re Asia Pacific 4 Unlock Company Profile
OPTIMUM 3 Unlock Company Profile
USAA 2 Unlock Company Profile
Visteon 2 Unlock Company Profile
Samsung Life Insurance 2 Unlock Company Profile
Benchmark Digital Partners 2 Unlock Company Profile
Chery Automobile 1 Unlock Company Profile
Accenture 1 Unlock Company Profile
Sed 1 Unlock Company Profile

Source: GlobalData Patent Analytics

State Farm Mutual Automobile Insurance is one of the leading patent filers in automated weather forecasting. State Farm has partnered with AccuWeather to collect real-time, localized weather data and review comprehensive forecast models to assess weather and fire predictions. Cox Enterprises, FedEx, and Allstate are some of the other key patent filers in this space.

In terms of application diversity, Leonard Green & Partners held the top position, while Panasonic and OPTIMUM stood in second and third positions, respectively. By means of geographic reach, FedEx leads the pack, followed by Cox Enterprises and State Farm Mutual Automobile Insurance.

To further understand the key themes and technologies disrupting the insurance industry, access GlobalData’s latest thematic research report on Artificial Intelligence (AI) in Insurance.

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GlobalData, the leading provider of industry intelligence, provided the underlying data, research, and analysis used to produce this article.

GlobalData’s Patent Analytics tracks patent filings and grants from official offices around the world. Textual analysis and official patent classifications are used to group patents into key thematic areas and link them to specific companies across the world’s largest industries.